Smackdown Live: Wildcard Review 27/12/16

Robbie Radford

Robbie Radford

Robbie covers NJPW, Lucha Underground and a few other promotions as well as various other articles. He is also a co-host of the PuroLads podcast. Robbie lives in Leeds, England.
Robbie Radford

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to fellow fans of the blue brand, Smackdown Live assembled an ultra strong card filled with thrilling championship matches for their last show of 2016.


Four Corners Tag Team Championship: American Alpha defeated The Usos, The Wyatts (c) and Heath Slater & Rhyno

Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) defeated Becky Lynch

WWE Championship Triple Threat: AJ Styles (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler & Baron Corbin

John Cena opened the show, garnering a huge reaction from the crowd who were eager to see the 15x World Champion after a short time away. Cena hyped up all the championship matches, especially the WWE Championship match in tonight’s main event. Playing up to the crowd, John Cena toyed with the idea of Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Cena set the record straight, insisting that he was staying around and rubbished the idea of the new era. Brushing off speculation, John Cena challenged the winner of tonight’s main event to a championship match at the Royal Rumble.

Four Corners Tag Team Championship match: The Wyatts (c) vs American Alpha vs The Usos vs Heath Slater & Rhyno
This match was made after the previous number one contenders, The Hype Bros, were ruled out after Zack Ryder suffered a severe injury, ruling him out for several months.

The match got off to an expected slow start, although the pace soon changed once The Usos began working over Rhyno. The most improved tag team of 2016 looked very good once again. Slater got the hot tag but it didn’t really amount to much, especially when they were the first team eliminated after Slater took a superkick.

Returning from the ad break, American Alpha and The Usos battled in the ring before Gable quickly eliminated The Usos via rollup. The Usos were quick to beat down American Alpha once they were eliminated. Orton looked really good when facing Jason Jordan but it would be Gable that got the hot tag, displaying incredible amounts of strength when facing Luke Harper. Once again, Orton looked really good when he was in the ring, you can really tell when he wants to wrestle and when he’s just coasting. Jason Jordan got the hot tag but instead of going back for Orton, chose to clothesline Bray instead. Gable took out Harper and delivered a Grand Amplitude for a stunning championship victory.

After Dolph Ziggler was interviewed, a returning Ellsworth was interviewed. Carmella interrupted Dasha, calling Ellsworth uniquely attractive before escorting him off screen.

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Alexa Bliss (c) vs Becky Lynch
The match got off to a slow start, despite it being somewhat of a grudge match following recent weeks antics, both competitors decided to settle the score by working rest holds. Bliss attracted heat from the usual snarky Chicago crowd fairly well, despite Bliss being the more popular of the two.

Lynch fired back and displayed some vicious offense, using Pentagon Jr’s famous arm breaker move to really get the upper hand. A masked Luchadora interrupted the match, temporarily interfering but it didn’t amount to too much. Lynch went for the Disarm-her but wriggled out of it eventually. Bliss looked to have dislocated her elbow but recovered in time to hit a spike DDT and the victory.

Renee Young attempted to interview Miz but Maryse interrupted, squaring up to her. The Miz interfered, shooing away his security that stood in front of his door. Dean Ambrose appeared in shot, posing as security and beat down The Miz.

WWE Championship: Baron Corbin vs AJ Styles (c) vs Dolph Ziggler
I’d be badly lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to this. Despite its 7 day build, the addition of Baron Corbin certainly added something strong to this matches possibility of a title change. As you can imagine, Styles received the loudest cheer of the evening.

Corbin started the match the strongest, batting away offense from both Styles and Ziggler before those two got into the match at all. Just as Styles and Ziggler were showing signs of getting back into the match, Corbin flattened both with a huge double lariat. Styles blocked an End of Days on Ziggler which only seemed to anger the big man even more as he spent the next few minutes pummeling both. Ziggler and Styles were forced to work together in order to at least slow down Corbin but it didn’t amount to much until Corbin was outsmarted by both. Ziggler and Styles worked together to put Corbin through the announcers table, causing the Chicago arena to erupt.

Whilst Corbin was down and out of the match, Ziggler and Styles fought it out in exhilarating fashion. Ziggler reversed a phenomenal forearm before delivering a Superkick, only for the two count.

After more fantastic action, Ziggler was hit with an End of Days but before Corbin could even go for the pin, Styles landed a big Phenomenal Forearm to Corbin, forcing him out of the ring, allowing Styles to pin Ziggler and retain the championship.

Following the match, Cena raced down to the ring, only to shake the hand of Styles. This closed the show.

Final Word

Best Smackdown show of the year, closely followed by last week’s show. Containing only three matches, that were all fairly long in length and limited backstage interactions, you would be mistaken for thinking this was an NXT: Takeover. Brilliant from start to finish. Your move, RAW.

ShowGrade: A+

Robbie Radford
About Robbie Radford 137 Articles
Robbie covers NJPW, Lucha Underground and a few other promotions as well as various other articles. He is also a co-host of the PuroLads podcast. Robbie lives in Leeds, England.

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